By Terence Dooley
Frank Warren has won the right to stage the rematch between British super middleweight champion George Groves and mandatory challenger Kenny Anderson. Warren submitted the winning bid yesterday according to the BBBoC’s latest British championship notice, although the venue and date has not been announced.
Groves stopped Anderson in the sixth-round of their November 2010 encounter despite tasting the canvas himself in round three. The 24-year-old has since registered wins over Daniel Adotey Allotey, James DeGale (to win the British 168lb belt), Paul Smith and Francisco Sierra — a fight that took place in California, was televised on U.S. T.V. and earned Groves rave reviews.
Groves, though, picked up a bad cut to his left eye in round three and it was immediately apparent that the 15-0 (12) fighter would not be able to make a mooted September 14 defence against his mandatory challenger due to the wound. Despite the cut, Groves finished the fight with aplomb by bombing Sierra out at 2:15 of the sixth to underline his recent improvements.
Anderson has waited patiently for his shot at the British belt since becoming the number one contender in January. The 29-year-old has posted wins over Joe Rea, Lee Duncan, Paul Morby, Wayne Reed and Ruslans Pojonisevs since his defeat to Groves.
The mandatory challenger has sat tight despite three postponements to this on-off clash, which has been pushed back twice, in March and August respectively, due to injuries suffered by Groves and was also spiked when Warren failed to secure a venue for a June 30 meeting — a deadline that was imposed by the BBBoC after the first postponement.
Now, though, the fight, which could easily bear the tagline “The Very Long Non-Engagement”, is in the pipeline once again and could be one of the fights of 2013 if it matches the action of their first encounter.
Anderson, 17-1 (12), may take an interim bout in the meantime, but there is also the possibility that the Scottish boxer will sit tight and wait for his long awaited crack at Groves’s British belt rather than run the risk of picking up an injury.
In other title news, Shane McPhilbin will meet Jon Lewis Dickenson on the undercard of David Price’s British heavyweight title defence against Audley Harrison. The two cruiserweights will contest the vacant British belt on October 13th’s Frank Maloney-promoted bill at Liverpool’s ECHO Arena. Chris Edwards will defend his British flyweight belt against Kevin Satchell on the same show.
Maloney also won the rights to stage Brian Rose’s British light-middleweight title defence against Sam Webb, the former titlist, although the date and venue has yet to be decided.
Ronnie Heffron’s meeting with David Barnes on October 12 has been upgraded to a British welterweight title eliminator and, as reported by BoxingScene earlier this week, takes place on a Coldwell Boxing bill.
Gary Buckland is set to defend his British super featherweight title against former EBU title-holder Steven Foster Junior after Hatton Promotions won the purse bid for the contest. It will take place on October 5 with the venue to be decided.
The biggest shock came at featherweight after Joe Murray and Stephen Smith, who share the same gym and both train under Joe Gallagher, opted to withdraw from their British featherweight title final eliminator. The fighters presumably opting to show more logic in nixing the proposed bout than the Board did in mandating it. It means that Gallagher does not have to file a motion for a two-minute break between rounds in order to be on hand to give both of his charges advice and a drink of water.
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